I learned there are seemingly payoff’s from destructive relationships. Who knew? When I looked at it, really looked at it, why had I found myself in these types of relationships? (abuse and emotionally abandoned). More importantly, why I had I allowed myself to stay for as long as I did? There are numerous reasons and the easiest answer is that once I had children, that was my first and primary reason for staying. I remember reasoning whether it was worth putting my children though these relationships. But again, the easy answer was so that they could have two parents.
I see lots of reasons but here are some others that I had not considered. The first reason or reward for being in a ‘Bermuda Triangle – black Hole’ relationship’, would be ‘feeding into the feelings of helplessness”.
Okay, the feeling of helplessness. Let’s break that down as I had to in my understanding of the how and the whys. I had felt helpless to take care of myself alone. I went straight into a marriage from Mom and Dad’s house of comfort and care, expecting the same. I would have to say, expectations played a role also but was that wrong to expect to be cared for? The next and second thing about the word helpless in my relationships to notice and why I stayed, was that I being told that I was helpless to take care of myself. For years I simply believed it, to now as I am unlearning that ingrained belief.
Helplessness allowed the second payoff – the martyr role. Martyrdom that I had stayed in these relationships so that my picture would be beside the word Martyr in the Websters dictionary. Maybe I thought I was June Cleaver? My Mom was pretty close but I was nowhere close. I didn’t even wear an apron.
I would have to say though that my years of wanting to be appreciated and needed, were the other reasons/benefits, although when I look at it, I was needed alright. I was needed for things such as food preparation, child-rearing, vacuuming, cleaning bathrooms, standing at the door with a smile on my face and dinner on the table, both for the children and ‘other’ children. I pushed that bitter root right down deep in my spirit. I wasn’t having the need I most needed met, the need to be loved and accepted for me and just needing the ‘spouse’ to need to be around me. I was having enough trouble being around me. Why on earth did they not continue wanting to be around me after they chased and courted …me? I mean, I was the prize right? No responding by the peanut gallery is needed! 🙂
So another reason or payoff in my ever searching path of “what about me?” was to make me feel like I was worthy, by enhancing my self-esteem. Okay, where did I think I received that need? My self-esteem took a substantial nose dive right off a cliff during those relationships. I guess what I’m trying to say is, that I’ve realized that I was feeling helpless because of me, not because of the relationships. I was acting the martyr because of my view of a wife and mom and how they behaved and performed! Noble little me! I surely should have received this ‘Wife of the Year’ award by now right? Too late!
Needing to be needed – why did I not learn somewhere in my girlish days that I was just fine as ‘me’. I needed to get to know me so that I could – like me. Why did I think others were going to like the me I didn’t know? Wow, I have learned a lot through these struggles. I have finally been introduced to ME!
So what I now see is that I was getting that ever codependent need met alright, but what I have been doing is beating myself over the head with it – for years! So while I will continue to search out the ‘boulders’ in my life so that I can blast them with dynamite and continue to grow, I am not going to beat myself against the rock anymore. I don’t have to feel victimized by me or others.I can see I can let that need of having others ‘appreciate me’ go.
I see it’s time to press on and appreciate Me!